Weakened by repeated scandals, he had left 10 Downing Street, residence of the British Prime Minister in London, a few weeks ago on yet another bravado, launching in front of the House of Commons: “Hasta la vista, baby!” ».
But Boris Johnson may not be done with British political life. Late Saturday morning, October 22, the former prime minister returned to London after a vacation in the Caribbean, reinforcing the hypothesis of his candidacy for Downing Street after the resignation two days ago of Liz Truss. The Prime Minister was dumped by the Conservative Party after just 44 days in Downing Street, plagued by protests over her economic policy, after having to give up unfunded tax cuts.
Three names have emerged in this flash campaign within the “Tories”: the current minister for relations with Parliament Penny Mordaunt, who formalized her candidacy on Friday October 21, Rishi Sunak, the former finance minister who lost in early September facing Liz Truss… and Boris Johnson, therefore.
UK: British Prime Minister Liz Truss walks out
His fight with Rishi Sunak dominates the front pages of the British press on October 22. ‘Johnson and Sunak lead race as unity hopes fade’title The Independent. “Conservative tribes go to war”writing The Guardian.The Daily Telegraph remains factual in One: “Rishi Sunak races to secure a majority of Tory MPs”.
On Friday evening, an ally of Boris Johnson in Parliament, James Duddridge, had warned: “He will take the plane to come back”. “He said, ‘We’re going to do it, I’m ready'”according to this deputy who exchanged with him on WhatsApp.
“BoJo” and Sunak not officially candidates
But the former prime minister, who previously led the UK government for three years, has yet to formally announce his candidacy.
Rishi Sunak, whose resignation from the Johnson government had led to that of his boss, managed to exceed the threshold of 100 sponsorships required in order to compete to take the lead of the Conservative party, and therefore be automatically appointed Downing Street. But he too has not yet officially entered the race. He hasn’t made a public appearance since Liz Truss resigned.
United Kingdom: Liz Truss beats, by far, the record for brevity for a prime minister
Relatives, however, have spoken. “I’m sure Rishi Sunak will show up. He’s the perfect candidate.”said on Sky News Dominic Raab, former Minister of Justice. “If you look at the economic challenge we have, he is the one who has always been right about what we need”he said. “He is in the best position to restore confidence in the government. »
A tight schedule
According to the Guido Fawkes site, which follows the upheavals of the race very closely, Rishi Sunak had 107 sponsorships on Saturday morning, followed by Boris Johnson with 71, both far ahead of Penny Mordaunt (25).
Candidates have until Monday afternoon, October 24, to obtain 100 referrals. The deputies will vote first, and if there are two candidates remaining, the 170,000 party members will have to decide between them by an online vote by October 28.